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Autumn Leaves are Falling.

Sweet Gum Woods in Tai Tong.

sunny

All Colours in One Shot.

All Colours in One Shot.

I love spring and autumn. In fact, I miss them, because here in Hong Kong, I would say, we only really have two seasons. I say, I would say, as local Hong Kongers think there are four seasons here, but believe me there really aren't. As I have been here a long time, I look diligently for any traces of spring or autumn and photograph them as much as I can. Last year, when I started exploring Hong Kong, I read about the Sweet Gum Woods in Tai Tong and how stunning they were in autumn, but I'd already missed them. Even if I hadn't missed them, I wouldn't have gone there before, because of tales of how crowded they are on weekends and on public holidays. However, now that I don't work, I thought I might as well visit during the week and, guess what? It was still pretty crowded, but nothing like it would have been at a weekend.

My Favourite Photo of the Day.

My Favourite Photo of the Day.

To get to the Sweet Gum Woods in Tai Tong, I took the MTR to Long Pin Station. Then I exited through exit B2, turned left, walked down the stairs to the busy Ma Wang Road and queued at the bus stop for the K66 bus. At least, that's what I should have done, but everything I had read said go through exit B2 and follow the signs for the K66 bus. There were no signs, so I initially went right and when that didn't work out eventually retraced my steps, went left and found the bus-stop. I was about eighth in line when I arrived and was shocked to turn round at one point and discover about forty people had joined the queue behind me. The bus, when it finally came, bypassed several stops, or only allowed people off at them, as it was so full. I was starting to think that getting back from the woods would be a bit of an ordeal and I had to get back to apply lots of drops to my husband's eyes. He could do it himself but, it's not all that easy to handle the amount of medicine he currently has.

Anyway I stayed on the bus, noting when we came out of the centre of Yuen Long and entered a more villagey environment that the K66 was the only bus plying this route. Not good! Eventually I alighted from the bus at Tai Tong Shan Road, the second last stop. Almost the entire population of the bus got off here. I thought: "This is good, I'll just follow them. No need to try and work out where I'm going." But actually everyone who exited the bus walked so slowly that I was soon in the lead and I was the one with the job of finding the Sweet Gum Woods for everyone else. Fortunately, it was quite straight forward: exit the bus, go left to Tai Tong Shan Road, walk up the hill for around ten minutes. When you reach a sign for hikes and country parks, climb up the stairs and go left again, then just keep on following the road.

The steps that I climbed brought me out at washrooms and a picnic area. There were good views over Yuen Long from here. Then I continued left along Tai Tong Shan Road. There was an interesting wall on one side, a bit like a mini great wall of China. There were also lots of flowering bushes. I discovered later these are Grantham's camellia. This is apparently a rare and endangered species of Camellia. It is called after Alexander Grantham, a former governor of Hong Kong, and was first discovered in Hong Kong in 1955. It can only be found in Hong Kong and Mainland China.

Picnic Area.

Picnic Area.

Picnic Site.

Picnic Site.

Picnic Site.

Picnic Site.

View of Yuen Long.

View of Yuen Long.

View of Yuen Long.

View of Yuen Long.

Grantham's Camellia.

Grantham's Camellia.

Trees and fancy wall.

Trees and fancy wall.

One of the many signs for the Sweet Gum Woods.

One of the many signs for the Sweet Gum Woods.

The road then led past a forestry museum. I didn't look inside and continued onwards to the Sweet Gum Woods. Sweet Gum trees are also called Liquidambar Formosana trees due to their orange coloured tree sap. They are found in Southeast and east Asia, the eastern Mediterranean and eastern North America. They are deciduous trees and their leaves turn wonderful shades of yellow, orange and red in autumn. Their leaves are star-like with three lobes and look similar to maple leaves. Their wood can be used to make furniture.

When I entered the woods at first I was surrounded by greenery. Later there were wonderful areas of yellow, orange and red. Wherever there was a lot of colour there were, of course, lots of people taking photos. It was possible to do some people watching as well as nature watching. There were signs up reminding people to take care when looking at nature as there were cars in some parts of the road and many bikes. I almost got hit by a bike at one point. They are just so silent, I had no idea it was there till the cyclist called to me to get out of her way.

Greenery at first.

Greenery at first.

Glimpses of colour are starting to appear.

Glimpses of colour are starting to appear.

Golden Yellows.

Golden Yellows.

Golden Yellows.

Golden Yellows.

Golden Yellows.

Golden Yellows.

Golden Yellows.

Golden Yellows.

I should have paid attention to the take care signs.

I should have paid attention to the take care signs.

Orange and Green Contrast.

Orange and Green Contrast.

Yellows mixed with Orange.

Yellows mixed with Orange.

Smouldering Orange in this area.

Smouldering Orange in this area.

Fiery Orange.

Fiery Orange.

Fiery Orange.

Fiery Orange.

Fiery Orange.

Fiery Orange.

Fiery Orange.

Fiery Orange.

Fiery Orange.

Fiery Orange.

Fiery Orange.

Fiery Orange.

Wood Pile.

Wood Pile.

Red and Orange.

Red and Orange.

Oranges and Reds.

Oranges and Reds.

Everyone is taking Photos.

Everyone is taking Photos.

Burning Reds.

Burning Reds.

Burning Reds.

Burning Reds.

Burning Reds.

Burning Reds.

Burning Reds.

Burning Reds.

Burning Reds.

Burning Reds.

Lots of People Enjoying Nature.

Lots of People Enjoying Nature.

Close-up of the leaves.

Close-up of the leaves.

At one point there was a little pavilion. As there were lots of low colourful branches around this, this was a popular area for photography.

Busy Pavilion.

Busy Pavilion.

Nearby there is a viewpoint where it's possible to look towards the distant line of Sweet Gum trees. This is a lovely view of the colourful trees surrounded by greenery on all sides as most Hong Kong trees aren't deciduous.

Line of Sweet Gum Trees.

Line of Sweet Gum Trees.

Line of Sweet Gum Trees.

Line of Sweet Gum Trees.

Of course, I had to take one or two selfies, didn't I?

Leafy Selfie.

Leafy Selfie.

Leafy Selfie.

Leafy Selfie.

Eventually I made my way back to the bus-stop pausing to look at a couple of stalls on the way. Of course, as always at this time of year the bauhinias were out in force, too.

Market Stall.

Market Stall.

Market Stall.

Market Stall.

Not All Bauhinias are Purple.

Not All Bauhinias are Purple.

Though, of course, many are.

Though, of course, many are.

After all my worrying about long bus queues, I ended up number two in the queue and had no difficulty getting back at all.

Posted by irenevt 01:31 Archived in Hong Kong

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Comments

Oranges are my favorites, so beautiful! :)

by hennaonthetrek

Hi Henna, everyone goes crazy about the red colour. There's even a red leaf index to check before you go. I didn't go on maximum red, but like you I found the orange the most impressive.

by irenevt

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